Our Stories

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Nicaragua: Electricity empowers rural communities

Maribel Ubeda’s is among the 4,400 families from eight rural communities in Nicaragua who gained access to electricity when a new 300 kilowatt micro-hydropower plants was inaugurated by local authorities in her village. “When they first told us about this project, people in my community didn’t beliemore

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Nicaraguan communities are adapting to climate change

Macario López Meléndez lives in Salale, a village in Nicaragua affected by climate variability: rain, high temperatures, hurricane winds, droughts and soil erosion. This humble smallholder farmer says that in the dry season of January to May, the community suffers from food and drinking-water shortamore

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One year after Sandy, solidarity and preparedness help Cuba rebuild

“I am one of the lucky ones. The damages to my own home were minimal; I have neighbors who lost everything,” says Maria Elena Valle Ortega, a resident of ‘30 de noviembre’, a neighborhood in Santiago de Cuba province in the south-east of the island, reflecting on the night Hurricane Sandy lashed themore

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Panama: Islanders integrate biodiversity conservation

Residents of the Pearl Islands and other archipelagoes in the Gulf of Panama always got everything from the sea. But, according to the islanders, fish population has been steadily declining, and so have jobs. Andrés Ramirez, a boat captain who services commuters between the islands, faces a diminismore

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Peru: 2,500 families in the High Andes make tradition a way of life

“My grandma prepared her chicha. She bottled it and sold it,” María Farroñan says, remembering how she learned to make chicha de jora, a traditional beverage in many towns in Peru. She was born in Mórrope, a district in the coastal region of Lambayeque that keeps up the old artisanal traditions. Witmore

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Peru: Improving cook stoves and access to energy

by James Leslie Cooking on a wood fire has always required a great deal of effort for 48-year-old Pilar Valladolid. She is supported in this duty by her 8-year-old daughter, Pamela. Together they have to walk more than an hour to collect the firewood they will use to cook with during the coming daysmore

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Peru: Rebuilding communities through volunteerism

Sebastiàn Escajadillo Saire, a resident of Santa Barbara’s village south of Lima, Peru, lost everything when his house was destroyed by a magnitude 8 earthquake in 2007, which left tens of thousands homeless across the region. In October 2011, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the Frencmore